Authorities use alternate forms of communications in high-speed pursuit

LONGVIEW, TX (KLTV) - Law enforcement coordination was needed in the multi-county high-speed chase that spanned from East Texas to the Dallas area early Thursday morning.

"Communications is one of the most important aspects of the job,"  says White Oak police lieutenant Brannon Robertson.

  It was the longest pursuit LPD has ever had and they lost radio contact with dispatch after about 30 miles.  

  But when a unit gets out of range of its own dispatch there is no magic switch or universal channel for them to talk to other law enforcement on.

"There's over a 1,000 agencies in Texas," Robertson says. "That's too many people trying to come in on one channel."

  Agencies like LPD, use an 'all-call system' that allows officers to talk car-to-car and talk with whatever agency is in the immediate area.

"The officers are communicating with dispatch, they know when they're getting close to borders and lines. The likelihood that you're going to work with a neighboring agency is very high," says Josh Tubb of the Gregg County Sheriff's Office.

  Safety and organization are key in cases such as a chase reaching speeds of more than 100 mph. 

"Each agency is responsible for it's own policy on pursuits and what they will and will not pursue for," Tubb says.

  Agencies also program other agency frequencies into their radios, particularly DPS dispatch.

"There are channels where they may be able to communicate with the agency in their jurisdiction.  Different frequencies around the area are keyed into our radio," says Robertson.

  Cell phones can also come into play in these situations.

"The dispatcher will call them, the officer pursuing will not take the time to call them," Tubb says.

 The agencies involved in the chase were kept aware of all units involved by DPS dispatchers.

The high-speed chase from Longview to Dallas illustrated the need for effective coordination between multiple agencies.

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